{} Derbyshire

All the photographs on this page were taken by me, except where indicated. I'm South Yorkshire in my roots and in my speech. South Yorkshire is the county where I live, but the Derbyshire border is not far away. Derbyshire has a strong hold on me, as it does for many Sheffield people. 






Derbyshire Peak District
1. View from road leading to Winnats Pass, Castleton
2. View of Mam Tor, near Castleton
3, 4, 5. Views from
Edale-Hope road

See also my page which includes (in the second and third columns) material on cross country skiing.

Other Derbyshire photographs:

Above, Winnats Pass, Peak District. Photograph not taken by me.

Above, photographshowing the road which leads to Winnats Pass and through the pass. Limestone visible everywhere, in outcrops in the pass and in the dry stone walls, which contain Carboniferous fossils, such as fossils of crinoid lilies. A substantial part of the area is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI.) The geology of the White Peak is very different from the geology of the Dark Peak, which adjoins this area. The predominant rock of the Dark Peak is gritsone. At the entrance to the pass, buildings of Speedwell Cavern, one of Castleton's four show caves. The others are Peak Cavern, Blue John Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern.

Speedwell Cavern is one of the four show caves in Castleton, Derbyshire, England.[1]

From the Wikipedia entry on Speedwell Cavern:

'The cave system consists of a horizontal lead miners' adit (a level passageway driven horizontally into the hillside) 200 metres below ground leading to the cavern itself, a limestone cave. The narrow adit is permanently flooded, so after descending a long staircase, access to the cave is made by boat. At the end of the adit, the cavern opens up with fluorspar veits, stalactites and stalagmites, and the so-called "Bottomless Pit". This chamber has an underground lake with a 20 metres (66 ft) high waterfall and an extremely deep vertical shaf ...The original depth of the shaft has been estimated, from the amount of spoil placed in the shaft over the years, at around 150 metres (490 ft).

'The mine was developed in the 1770s but the limited lead ore deposits meant that it was not profitable and it was closed down by 1790.

'At the foot of Winnats Pass, it is a tourist attraction with an underground boat trip to the cavern ...

'A connection was discovered in 2006 between the Speedwell Cavern system and Titan, the largest natural shaft in the UK, which is 141.5 metres (464 ft) high.'

When visiting any lead-mining area (almost always, an area where lead mining took place in the past), as when visiting any mining area, such as a coal-mining area, reflection is called for, in my view - an appreciation of the back-breaking, dangerous work of the miners, which only became far less dangerous and not as harsh with the technological advances which transformed mining.

Above, photograph of area shown in Photograph 1, without snow cover.

Below, 3 photographs showing the road from Castleton to Edale, which climbs and falls. Views of scenery, a sheep and the road during the descent.

Above, the Dark Peak lightened. View after going down the road from Castleton, towards Edale, with woods - and hawthorn blossom.


Above, Dark Peak hills hidden behind hawthorn.

Above, further afield: the Headstone Viaduct in Monsal Dale, crossing the River Wye.  The viaduct is near the Headstone tunnel. The line is no longer part of the railway network but is part of the Monsal Trail, used by walkers, horse riders and cyclists.

Next photographs not taken by me.

Above, view of the Hope Valley from Stanage Edge

Above, the Salt Cellar, a tor (rocky outcrop) at Derwent Edge in the Dark Peak. The geology of this area is millstone grit, which originally covered all the Peak District. Most of it was removed by glaciers in the last Ice Age. The millstone grit remains in this area and makes up the edge of a peaty moorland plateau above Ladybower Reservoir, visible in the image.

The Salt Cellar is one of the unusual gritstone tors shaped by wind, rain and frost over  that have been formed by the actions of wind, rain, and frost.  Others are  the Cakes of Bread and the Coach and Horses. This area is not far from the Sheffield border.

Above, very near the border with Staffordshire, in the valley of the River Dove: Chrome Hill, to the left Parkhouse Hill.

Above, the Snake Pass is a main road through the Derbyshire Peak District, between Glossop and the Ladybower Reservoir.

Above, the Blue John Cavern, Castleton. Blue John: a rare form of the mineral fluorite, mined only at the Blue John Cavern and the Treak Cliff Cavern, also in Castleton.

Above, bowl made of Blue John

Above, Derbyshire dry stone wall with stone containing Blue John

Above, minerals of mine, photographed by me.  Left, fluorite from Treak Cliff Cavern, Castleton. Centre, fluorite with barite, galena and iron from Treak Cliff Cavern. Right, from outside the Peak District - dolomite and calcite, from the Harding vein, Carrock mine, Cumbria.

For the minerals of the Midlands, 'Minerals of the English Midlands' by Roy E. Starkey is a superb guide.

Above the Keep of Peveril Castle,  high above Castleton. The Keep was begun c. 1176. Photograph not taken by me.

Above, Hope Cement Works, the largest in the UK. Hope, Derbyshire, is near to Castleton. Photographs not taken by me. The Peak District Mountain Rescue team is based at the cement works. The raw materials needed for the plant's operation are available nearby. I approve of the Cement Works - more exactly, I respect and admire the achievement, the construction, the day to day production of an essential building material. (Derbyshire building stone is a strong interest of mine too, as used in the construction of dry stone walls, vernacular architecture and larger architectural forms.) The setting of the cement works is very attractive. The cement works itself could be regarded as large-scale modernist architecture, almost. The tall rectangular structure next to the chimney isn't essentially different from many modern buildings designed by architects.

Above, Derwent Reservoir

Above, well dressing in the village of Hope, 2023. Well dressing takes place on a limited scale in some other places, but Derbyshire is by far the most prominent place where well dressing takes place, appearing in succession throughout the summer months. The displays are constructed by pressing flower petals and other natural materials onto clay and are obviously transient.

Extract from the entry on the very valuable and informative Website, 'British Listed Buildings'

https://britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/101068603-the-old-manse-and-attached-garden-walls-great-hucklowBritish Listed Buildings

'House. Mid C18. Coursed squared limestone with gritstone dressings and
rusticated quoins ...  Steeply pitched C20
concrete tile roof and stone coped gables with moulded kneelers. Stone gable
end stacks with plain banding. Central pedimented Doric pilastered doorcase with raised
and fielded panelled door. To either side 3-light square sectioned mullion
windows. Two similar over with two more above to eaves. All fenestration C20p'

Above, Eyam Hall.

From Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, Derbyshire:'

'Dated 1676 on a rainwater head ... The front is a half-H with the sides projecting far. It is three stories high with string-courses sharply dividing the storeys rom each other and a straight top interrupted by three small gables ... The windows are low and mullioned of three and small lights, symmetrically arranged, and touch the string courses with their tops. This latter feature as well as the comparatively classical door surround tally with the date 1676.'

Above, window and wall, Eyam. Photograph not taken by me.

Above, location of County of Derbyshire

Derbyshire - Churches

The material in this section  is different in kind from the material above - it is wide-ranging in theme and location -  but makes use of some of the material above. I comment on some aspects of Christian belief. Eyam is simply the starting point.

Mike Gilbert is the Rector of Baslow and Eyam in the Diocese of Derby. Below, coat of arms of the diocese.


There's a  brief profile of him on the site



Rev'd Mike Gilbert

I have been the Rector of Baslow and Eyam since 2012 having previously been a vicar in Sheffield. Married to Jenny with 4 children and a dog, I feel very blessed to live in such a beautiful place where I can sneak off at every opportunity to indulge my passions of running, walking, climbing and biking.

Although he has to look after not one but two churches, I doubt if his duties are too demanding. The profile published on the St Anne's Website seems to show that he has plenty of spare time. He can not only indulge his passions for 'running, walking, climbing and biking' but he has the assurance that he'll be spending a blissful eternity in heaven, thanks to his acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour - unlike the mass of 'unreedemed' humanity - people such as miners, doing back-breaking, dangerous work underground, all those people with hard lives, self-sacrificing parents, the Jews who were exterminated in the Holocaust, the people who lost their lives helping Jews, the allied forces who liberated the extermination camps - not only these groups but everyone everywhere destined to spend eternity in a state far from heaven, as 'unredeemed sinners,' according to the doctrines upheld by the Rock Christian Centre and all the other churces which are members of 'Arise!'

Recommended: a look at my page Counter-evangelism: a guide to some South Yorkshire / Derbyshire churches. One of the churches discussed is Rock Christian Centre.

Like Sheffield Cathedral, Rock Christian Centre is  a member of 'Arise!' There's more information about the Centre on other pages, including this, a quote included on the page


'A quote from the Website of Rock Christian Centre which makes many claims, amongst them these:

God is outraged by abortion.
God is outraged by homosexuality.
God is outraged by blasphemy.'

At the time I wrote most of the material on this page, there were practically no Derbyshire churches who were members of 'Arise!' The organization is still dominated by Sheffield churches and church organizations but the list of Derbyshire members is now longer and includes at the time of writing St Helen's, Grindleford, Hathersage Parish Church, Hope Valley Prayer Group and the Hope, Castleton and Bradwell Benefice.

Eyam is, of course, famous for the plague of 1665 and the actions of the Rector at the time, William Mompesson. The Rector, together with the ejected Puritan minister Thomas Stanley, introduced precautions to slow the spread of the plague, including the quarantine of the village.

This was pre-scientific action which made scientific sense, of a kind. Plagues ravaged Europe and caused immense loss of life because Christian Europe acted very differently, time and time again, depending on the power of prayer. I notice that Eyam Parish Church is due to hold a 'Service of Healing' soon where it's likely that there will be reliance on the so-called 'power of prayer.'



We believe there is a God who is a good Father to us, who made the whole of the universe and ourselves in his image.

This planet is a place of wonder and beauty, though marred by human evil and greed that goodness shines through. We believe this is because the creator of this world and all other worlds is God who is limitless in his power, creativity, love and goodness. The scriptures also teach us that we are made in his image and that he is like a father to us.

Christians believe that this death was no accident but that Jesus willingly allowed this to happen so that he could take all of humanity’s sin, hate and failure on to himself so that we would not have to suffer the consequences of our sin. He died so that we might be free from our wrong and forgiven by God.

Again and again, during plagues and other natural disasters, Christians have placed the responsibility on humans. It was the sins of humans, supposedly, which had caused the plague and prayers were offered to God to forgive the sins and end the plague.  It was the patient, exacting work of humans which eventually uncovered the real reasons for plague, the causative organisms responsible and which eventually led to effective means of preventing plagues.

The Black Death was a bubonic plague pandemic, the most deadly pandemic recorded in human history. It caused the deaths of 75 - 200 million people. It reached its peak in the years 1347 - 1353. Bubonic plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, not, as vast numbers of Christians believed, human sin. The bacterium is spread by fleas. According to the version of events on the Website of Eyam Parish Church, God created all things, which include not just pretty flowers and cute baby animals but the bacterium Yersinia pestis and the fleas - and, also, the causative organisms in the case of all other infectious diseases.

Below, Yersinia pestis and the Oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis) engorged with blood. This species  of flea is the primary vector  for the transmission of the bacterium.  When the flea feeds on an uninfectedhost Y. pestis is regurgitated into the wound, causing infection. This is a very long way from the very selective view of 'God's creation' favoured by Christians, such as the Christian who wrote the lyrics of the hymn 'All things bright and beautiful:"

All things bright and beautiful All creatures great and small All things wise and wonderful 'Twas God that made them all

Each little flower that opens Each little bird that sings He made their glowing colors And made their tiny wings.


Microphotograph above not taken by me.

The persecution of Jews during the Black Death consisted of a series of violent mass attacks and massacres. Jewish communities  were falsely blamed for outbreaks of the Black Death in Europe.  . From 1348 to 1351, acts of violence were committed ... Jews were frequently used as scapegoats and false accusations  which stated that they had caused the disease by deliberately poisoning wells   were circulated ... Around 2,000 Jews were burnt alive on 14 February 1349 in the "Valentine's Day" Strasbourg massacre ...   In the spring of 1349, the Jewish community in Frankfurt am Main was annihilated. That was followed by the destruction of Jewish communities in Mainz and Cologne. The 3,000-strong Jewish population of Mainz initially defended themselves and managed to hold off the Christian attackers. However, the Christians managed to overwhelm the Jewish ghetto  in the end and killed all of its Jews ... One of the most significant long-term consequences of the Black Death in Europe was the migration of the Jews to Poland. The Jews migrated to Poland in an attempt to escape from the persecution which they were being subjected to in Western Europe.  This event is one of the major factors that contributed to the existence of a large population of Jews in Poland during the early 20th century. Approximately 3.5 million Jews lived in Poland at the time of Adolf Hitler's rise to power.


Above, Eyam church tower and Celtic cross.

Above, Plague Register, Eyam Parish Church. Heading of the Plague Register: 'Here are inscribed the names of those inhabitants of Eyam who died during the plague years 1665 - 1666.' Photograph not taken by me.

An issue of a very different kind: Above, the  plaque in Eyam village which gives the information that here, animals were baited. And the iron ring to which the chain was attached, fastened to the animal being baited.

Bull and bear baiting were popular events for many centuries in this and other countries. The baiting was grotesquely cruel. Chained animals were savaged by a pack of dogs, causing horrible injuries - loss of eyes, flesh ripped away. The Church did nothing to stop the abuse. Christianity has condoned, done nothing to oppose cruelty to animals. There are individual Christians who have opposed cruelty to animals but they were rare exceptions before the modern era. Baiting only became illegal when Parliament passed the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835.

Amongst its achievements, Derbyshire is a county of magnificent industrial achievement. To represent this achievement by just a very few images is a travesty, but this is obviously not intended to be a full or partial survey of the county. These images show places in Derby. None of these photographs were taken by me. North Derbyshire is the part of Derbyshire I know best, by far, but the 'midlands' area of Derbyshire and southern Derbyshire are full of interest. I'm in no danger of neglecting them.

Above, a Rolls Royce  RB211 jet engine in the 'Museum of Making,' Derby. A very interesting article, 'RB.211- The Engine That Sank and Then Saved Rolls Royce.'


Above,  former Rolls Royce factory

Above, a reminder of the astonishing industrial achievement of the Cromford area, specifically Masson Mill: Yorkshire broadloom machinery.

More machinery from the Masson Mill, for the spinning operation.

Above the Derby 'Museum of Making,' housed in Derby Silk Mill, part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.